Saturday, January 31, 2009

Amazing video made of close to 3225 stills

Friday, January 30, 2009

PFR Reunion

40-years and still in love.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Aperture Nature Photography Workshop

The third of four contests for the Aperture Nature Photography Workshop is now open for entries. Find out more about the contest or enter your image by clicking HERE.

I was one of four winners in the second contest with my lightning photo taken this past August when I was returning from a camp where I was the photographer.

Let me tell you a bit of my experience with this contest.

First, if you want to enter, I cannot impress upon you enough to enter. If you don't have an image you think is up to par, go out and shoot one and enter it. It is worth it!!!

I had entered perhaps three other photo contests prior to submitting my photo to the ANPW and didn't have any success. That didn't stop me. You really can't beat entering one of your best images in a contest where the is no entry fee. And the prizes??? Come on!!! They are amazing.

  • An expenses paid trip to learn from four pro's in a national park.
  • A Lensbaby
  • A "ThinkTank 360" camera bag
  • A years subscription to
  • A collection of books from PeachPit press.
  • Apple Aperture software
  • Lifetime membership to Photrade

I just returned from four information packed days with Scott Bourne, Steve Simon, Jenifer Wu and Gary Hamburg. The best part was the one-on-one time with the pro's when we were out shooting. I learned so much! They were there to answer any questions we had and to point us in the right direction.

I have to admit, I was a bit frighted when it came to having my images critiqued at the end of the workshop but I knew this was the best way for me to learn how to improve. I purposely did not choose the images I thought were my better ones, but I "bit the bullet" and selected the ones I knew didn't quite work. It helped a lot.

As you can tell from most of my images on my blog, I am not a nature photographer. I prefer to capture images of people. Now I have the confidence to shoot nature in a way I would have never thought possible.

Again, if you are thinking of entering one of you images in the contest - DO IT!!! You have nothing to lose and just might be on the next trip to Yellowstone to learn things from amazing pro's. I guarantee, it might just change your life. I know it has changed mine!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Links of Utopia

Last night I shot a ministry outreach at the Celebrity Theatre. This post is the first of a couple. Paul Colman lead worship before and after the program.

If you don't know who Paul Colman is, he was with a Christian band called "Newsboys."

This was an AWESOME evening. I will write more about it when I post further photos.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

God's timing!

These past 2-months have been quite a ride for me.  When I stop and think about all that has happened, I wonder how they could have gone by so fast and yet dragged along at the same time.  If someone would have told me on December 1st of all that I would go through before the first of February, I would have thought them mad.  

Now, mind you, I'm not saying that things are going to stop as of the first of February, it's just that is the next milestone in the calendar that I can refer to.

It's simply amazing how the Lord brings people into your life for a period of time to get you out of a rut you have been, whether you have been in that rut your entire life or due to a recent trauma, if you have been around the mountain more than once you are in a rut.  I was in a HUGE rut!!

In early December, the Christmas program at church was the only thing I could see.  It was quite a challenge and really tested me.  I was relieved when all the edits were completed and the show was finally taking place.  

With my work done, I was able to enjoy taking photos of all the performances and got some great shots.  I sat on the step, hidden by the orchestra and fired away.

There was one person in the show whom the Lord would bring into my life and use him as an instrument of change.  Steven was one of the drummers in my favorite piece of the evening; good ole' bagpipes playing as he and two other drummers played live on stage.

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I didn't know him then.  It was by accident that I came to know him at all.  I know it was not an accident, but God's direction that the two of us get to know each other.

I have never known a man like Steven before.  He pushed and prodded me for information about myself.  He asked me difficult questions.  Really made me look at my past as he tried to get to know and understand my present.  By him doing this, I have found freedom in a couple areas of my life where I had not known it before.  No one had ever taken the time to encourage me to open doors in my heart that had been closed and bolted shut.

We had our bumps in the road, everything from hurt feelings, to anger and frustration, but in the end I have someone with whom I will always be able to look back on this period of my life and know that the Lord used him to cause growth to happen in my life.

Steven was a catalyst for all that is happening now.  I'm not giving him all the credit, but I honestly don't know if I could be doing what I'm doing right now had the two of us not become friends.

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His friendship is not the only big thing.  In these past 2-months one of my photo was selected out of over 10,000 entries for the Aperture Nature Photography Workshop, I took part in the workshop learning a lot and having a great time.  As a result, I'm trying to get my photography business off the ground and I'm finding a boldness I didn't know was within me.

This is by far the most exciting time in my entire life!!!

Another photo of ME!!

Enjoy it while you can folks.  You know how much I dislike being in front of the lens.  

Scott has posted some more photos of the workshop.  Take a look.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Paul Colman

From death to LIFE!!

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that,

just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father,

we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4 (ESV)

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Yesterday, before my new camera body arrived, the Watoto Children's Choir were rehearsing at our church. One of their leaders, Julius, was outside the worship center playing his guitar.

This was shot with my 40D.

First image from new 5D

Yesterday morning I had a portrait session at church.

After that shoot, there were some friends in the recording studio laying down some tracks for an album so I hung out with them. Part of the reason I hung out was because I knew my new Canon 5D was going to be delivered to the church later that day.

When the new camera body came, of course I had to get some images of the people immediately around me. Here are some of the first images captured with my new tool.

Friday, January 23, 2009

More Watoto

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Watoto Children's Choir

Watoto means “the children,” and these children are on a mission. Through their inspirational songs and compelling stories, the Watoto Children’s Choir is spreading a message of hope for Africa’s children.

In 1994, Gary and Marilyn Skinner were moved with compassion concerning the critical orphan crisis in Uganda. As a result, Watoto Child Care Ministries was established as an outreach of Kampala Pentecostal Church. Today, Watoto is caring for over 1500 parentless children by providing physical, emotional, educational and spiritual care.

The goal of Watoto is to raise the next generation of Ugandan leaders by pursuing excellence in academic and practical skills, integrity in conduct and moral values, so that each child becomes a responsible and productive citizen.

The choir’s music and multimedia presentation is a soulful fusion of gospel and contemporary African style. Dressed in colorful costume, the children’s enthusiastic song and energetic dance has moved audiences world-wide.

Okay, that was the "formal" information on this amazing children's choir. Let me tell you a bit about my experience tonight.

If you have met me in person, you know I have a HUGE heart for the entire continent of Africa. I lived in South Africa for about 3 1/2 years and have spent time in Tanzania and Liberia. These experiences have cemented that love for this beautiful place and her peoples.

With that said, I sat through the entire concert with tears in my eyes and a huge smile on my face. Yes, I'm a weepy person when it comes to things that are strongly on my heart. Africa has been on my heart since I was about 12 or 13 years old and that love has only grown deeper over the years. And how could I not smile at these gorgeous children?

My heart is in Africa, yet my body is here in Arizona. There is a separation between that two that literally hurts me at times. I long to capture the beautiful faces of that far away place and show people that we are not that different.

Look into these faces and you cannot help but see how we are one.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Meg 3

This is an awesome song with moving lyrics. I work with Sean, the lead singer. Keep an eye out for these guys. They are on their way!!


Aperture classroom

Steve Simon is teaching us Aperture. I can't wait to get my copy and start streamlining my editing process.

Caught in Action

Scott caught me while I was shooting in Yosemite. Here I'm shooting the water fall and the amazing rainbow.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Caught in action

Scott just posted some photos of the participants in the Aperture Nature Photography Workshop on his Flickr account. You can check them out by clicking HERE.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Now on Twitter

You can now find me on Twitter under LittleKnoll.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Water 003

Scott sums up the workshop

You can check out what Scott has to say about the workshop and the experience on

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Water 002


Oh Deer!

A no go!!!

Steve drove me to the airport and got me there with plenty of time to spare. Things were going well until all the passengers were settled in their seats, the safety instructions had been given and the captain came on the loud speaker to greet us.


A couple of minutes later the captain came back on the loud speaker and told us there was a mechanical problem with the plane and there was no mechanic at the airport to fix it.

Luckily we were able to de-plane shortly and the gate agents tried to get us booked on other flights.

I knew there was no way I was going to make it back to Phoenix tonight. I could either fly to Salt Lake City and spend the night there or stay here in Oakland. I chose the latter.

I'm in a nice hotel room for the night on the dime of the airline and I get to work on editing more of my photos.

In all the years of my traveling overseas I have never had something like this happen. I think that is a pretty good track record. I'm actually enjoying myself.

So, while I have some more time to edit, I will try to post some more images for you to take a peek at.

We interrupt our Yosemite programing for a bit of humor.

Last week I went to the David Crowder band concert and had a great time.

I took my camera because I had no idea where my seat was going to be. It was a good seat, but not as good as what I had at the Matthew West concert a couple of months ago.

I just had to post this photo for all of you who are "Guitar Hero" fans.

Towards the end of the show he pulled out a familiar toy, one of the guitars you would use to play the game. He said that one of his band members played with it and rigged it so he could play it on this song.

It was a hoot. Here is a photo of him playing this toy while worshiping the Lord.

More photos


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Friday, January 16, 2009

Last night together as a group.

Today has been a day full of shooting which was also made up of good company, conversation and learning.

This is our last day night together as a "team" and we closed out by having a night of critique.

Scott told us over dinner that we could bring five images to be critiqued and it was up to us as to how we wanted it to be served up: mild, medium and hot salsa! And guess what I wanted.

We had half an hour to select our five images. And we weren't supposed to select our strong images. They were to be the ones we thought were the weakest and where we could learn the most from.

It was not hard for me. I had quite a few images where I tried something and the execution just did not work.

Scott and the other professionals were brutal. They held nothing back. And I'm glad they didn't. It encouraged me. There were three of the five that were salvageable through a tighter crop. I was quite happy with that.

Me, Nikki and Scott were standing around after the session and he greatly encouraged us. I have to tell you, this man may put on a hard outer shell, but he has such a heart of gold!!! He is a great encourager. He wants to challenge people to bring out the best in them. What an honor this experience has been.

Nikki and I found out even more information about the contest and really how good our photos were to have been selected. Apple had to approve all the images. They had their photo professionals give the final approval for all four of our images.

I feel a bit like Sally Fields when she won her academy award: "You like me." :-)

Tomorrow morning the winners are going to be interviewed and we will take a group photo. After that, Steve and I are going to do a bit of shooting as we go through the park on the way to the airport. And that will be the end of this amazing time with such a talented group of people.

There is the next step of editing our photos down and sending them in to be submitted in the book the Peach Pit Press is going to be creating out of the four contests. There is no guarantee that any of our images are going to be selected to be included in the book, but I know at least one of mine will be.

There are two more contests to be run, eight more people to have this amazing experience and more wonderful images to be captured.

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Second day of shooting

Scott, Gary (one of the pros), Nikki and I headed out this morning to do some more shooting. I have not looked at the shots I captured yet, but I know they are going to be awesome once I edit them into HDR format.

Yesterday Scott showed me how I shoot to prepare for the HDR process. HDR mean High Dynamic Range and it is a way of processing images that will pull more of the digital information from a minimum of three different exposures of the same image.

He taught me to shoot a minimum of five images to give a higher quality end product and I have been shooting that ever since. Anytime I grab captures where there are no people involved, trust me, I am going to be shooting this way.

Most of the images I posted yesterday were HDR processed. I even went online and purchased the software needed to do this. I cannot believe how much it makes my images "POP" and I simply love it!!!

So, this morning we went back to the same waterfall I posted yesterday. But let me tell ya, the image is not even close to what I captured yesterday. We got there when the sun was in the right position and the colors of the rainbow was stunning. It looked like a painter had taken his brush an painted the colors on.

Scott taught me about the use of a polarizing filter and reminded me, again, to use my lens hood.

Mind you, this guy knows his stuff. How can I not trust his judgement. We started talking about filters and he told me that a polorizing filter is the only thing he has on his lenses. He does not have a skylight filter on any of them. That drops the quality of the image down unless you have one of the high quality, German made one from B+W. He said I should take any skylight filters off my lens and stomp on it.

I got some great shots of the rainbow and we moved on.

At our next stop, I pulled out my lens with the skylight filter on it, promptly pulled it off and handed it to him. He put it in his pocket and said we would have a "stomping" ceremony later on.

One of the things that just strikes me as a bit odd was several times last night Scott made a comment, in a shocked tone, that I actually listened to him. He must have said that three times last night when I showed him some of my edited work. That really struck me as a bit odd.

Mind you, this man is VERY, VERY, VERY successful and knowledgable at what he does. He has been doing it for 37-years, like I said, why in the world would I NOT listen to what he has to say??

Since there were only four of us in our group today and we took two vehicles, Nikki road with Scott and I road with Gary. At our last stop, Nikki and I were left on a bridge to shoot while Gary drove Scott back to his truck.

Both Nikki and I are in the same place with regards to still trying to wrap our heads around the fact that we are here. She shared with me what Scott had told her and that was that, "She is good enough. He choose her image and when she thinks she is not good enough, she just needs to stop thinking like that."

I know that now I am puttng that out there, I'm going to be hearing that from a lot of you!! That's okay. That's what I need to hear.

Today after lunch we sit down and start learing Aperture. I'm looking forward to that. The we go back out for the evening shoot. I'll post some more of my images later tonight.

Again, please keep the comments coming. DON'T LURK!! I want to hear from you. :-)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Shooting, shooting, shooting

This morning was fantastic!!! I learned so much from Scott and Steve.

Last night, Scott challenged us to come up with a theme for our shooting today. I had chose "delicate". I had no idea what I was going to shoot that was "delicate". There are not flowers right now, so that made me work extra hard finding those special shots.

However, shortly into the day I kinda forgot about the theme I had selected and was shooting a lot of water and streams and snow and moss and anything else I could point my camera at.

It seemed like I had taken a ton of photos but when I looked at the count, I had shot less than 300 in the morning session. I was in shock when I saw that.

One of the more treacherous journeys we went on today was making the trek up to Bridalvale Falls. It was shear ice on the walk up there. Scott was so kind. He kept telling us that we should head back because he did not want us to get hurt. I was not going to miss this chance so I pressed on and so did everyone else.

I never made it to the falls though. I stopped right after the trail cleared of the ice and basically camped out at a stream while the rest of the group, Nikki, Steve, Scott and Lianna walked up to the falls.

I was shooting the stream that's created from the waterfall and got some good shots. I spent all my time there, getting different angles, trying different exposures and even getting down on my belly in the snow to get a different viewpoint. This was my second time laying on my stomach in the snow and it was not yet 9:30. My pants were wet and remained that way for most of the rest of the day.

We came back and had a quick meeting. In the meeting Steve talked a bit about his work and showed us the software program "Aperture". This is the same program we all won and will be learning more about tomorrow from him.

He has a tremendous heart for Africa as well and showed quite a few photos from his time in Lesotho. Lesotho is a small country that is surrounded by South Africa. As I watched his images I started crying and could not believe I was crying. I was missing Africa again and the images he captured were wonderful.

We headed out again after the meeting and I was not as happy with this shoot as I was with the morning shoot. I'm still in the process of editing the images so I don't really know what I captured.

But, for now, one of my images from the morning for you to enjoy.

I have enjoyed all the comments from people. You have encouraged me greatly.